Japan proposes to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2030

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 30, 2015 7:25 AM

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan said it was proposing to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2030 as its contribution to a global summit on climate change in Paris later in the year.

Media reports earlier this month said the country was looking at a 25 percent cut from 2013 levels, up from an earlier target of about 20 percent.

Japan, the world's No.5 emitter of climate warming carbon dioxide, has however previously watered down emissions targets as the shutdown of its nuclear plants after the 2011 Fukushima disaster forced its utilities to burn record amounts of gas and polluting coal to generate power.

The country's latest proposal, issued by the industry ministry and environment ministry, includes a target to reduce emissions by 25.4 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

But government officials said they would prefer to use 2013 as a baseline, which implies a higher reduction target than other major developed countries.

If 2013 becomes the baseline, Japan's 26 percent emissions cut would be higher than an 18-21 percent cut by the United States by 2025 and a 24 percent cut by the European Union by 2030, the proposal showed.

The European Union has said it is looking to cut emissions by at least 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030, while the United States is proposing a 26-28 percent cut from 2005 levels by 2025.

Japan's target for emission cuts is based on a proposed new power generation mix for 2030, unveiled by the industry ministry on Tuesday.

The government wants to make nuclear energy account for 20-22 percent of Japan's electricity mix, versus 30 percent before Fukushima, with renewable energy making up 22-24 percent, liquefied natural gas for 27 percent and coal 26 percent.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Environment have been holding joint panel meetings on the emissions target since last October.

Japan is looking to finalize the plan as soon as possible and announce its carbon emissions targets at the Group of Seven meeting in Germany in early June.

The Paris summit starting in November aims to finalize an agreement as part of long-term efforts to limit global average temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.

(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Himani Sarkar)